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Scientific article
English

Insular Cortex Mediates Attentional Capture by Behaviorally Relevant Stimuli after Damage to the Right Temporoparietal Junction

Published inCerebral Cortex
Publication date2021
Abstract

The right temporoparietal junction (rTPJ) and insula both play a key role for the processing of relevant stimuli. However, while both have been conceived as neural "switches" that detect salient events and redirect the focus of attention, it remains unclear how these brain regions interact to achieve this behavioral goal. Here, we tested human participants with focal left-hemispheric or right-hemispheric lesions in a spatial cuing task that requires participants to react to lateralized stimuli preceded by a distracter that shares or does not share a relevant feature with the target. Using machine learning to identify significant lesion-behavior relationships, we found that rTPJ damage produces distinctive, pathologically increased attentional capture, but only by relevant distracters. Functional connectivity analyses revealed that the degree of capture is positively associated with a functional connection between insula and rTPJ, together with functional isolation of the rTPJ from right dorsal prefrontal cortex (dPFC). These findings suggest a mechanistic model where the insula-rTPJ connection constitutes a crucial functional unit that breaks attentional focus upon detection of behaviorally relevant events, while the dPFC appears to attune this activity.

Keywords
  • Functional connectivity
  • Spatial attention
  • Relevance
  • Temporo-parietal junction
  • Attention network
  • Insula
Citation (ISO format)
PTAK, Radek, PEDRAZZINI, Elena. Insular Cortex Mediates Attentional Capture by Behaviorally Relevant Stimuli after Damage to the Right Temporoparietal Junction. In: Cerebral Cortex, 2021. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhab082
Main files (2)
Article (Submitted version)
Article (Published version)
accessLevelRestricted
Identifiers
ISSN of the journal1047-3211
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178downloads

Technical informations

Creation04/07/2021 9:11:00 PM
First validation04/07/2021 9:11:00 PM
Update time03/16/2023 12:30:33 AM
Status update03/16/2023 12:30:32 AM
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